This jacket from Ana Nichoola has caused much excitement around the office, from the minute we saw the Curve prototypes at Cycle 09 back in October. It’s a jacket designed to appeal to the female cyclist who doesn’t want her riding gear to be just ‘functional’, but to have some style too.
To see the Curve is to love its looks. With quirky decorative flaps that fasten over the front zip, stylishly wavy reflective details down the arms and across the back, and a nicely dropped tail, this is a jacket that is all about the ‘curves’. The contoured cut of the jacket also goes along with this, hugging the shape of the body and delivering a flattering look that would work as well with jeans as with lycra tights.
That said, the cut won’t suit everyone. The size medium reviewed was pretty much spot on for a standard 12, but the length wouldn’t suit taller women or those particularly long in the body. Also, whilst the length of the sleeves is good, allowing for prolonged riding comfort, the shoulders and upper arms are on the neat side, and were decidedly snug across my shoulders and upper arms. Now admittedly I’ve got quite ‘beefy’ upper arms but this is not an issue I’ve encountered before in a cycling jacket. Slim built women probably won’t find this a problem, but it’s certainly best to try the jacket in a pseudo-riding position before committing to buy.
Fully waterproof and breathable, the fabric has a pleasant soft handle, unlike the crispiness of many waterproof jackets. There’s a choice of two linings when ordering (jackets are made to order- taking approximately 28 days), including the ‘winter’ one which I tried, a brushed thermal mesh. This lining is soft next to skin, and wicks well, but does mean the jacket runs on the warm side in energetic use, especially taking into account the fact that the only ventilation options are an integral vent across the shoulders and a zipped vent in the tail, although the way the flaps fasten at the front, you could also open the front zip for extra ventilation if necessary. The fabric does breathe well, even when working hard, and it is comfortable to wear. The other lining option is a standard mesh lining which may well be more versatile for those who tend to overheat.
The only other additional features are two small zipped pockets- one at the back and one at the side, and knitted stretch cuffs at the wrists which are a nice touch.
A good jacket, stylish and well made, but the cut might not suit everybody, especially if you've good solid biceps.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ana Nichoola Curve Jacket
Size tested: Medium/12
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Ana Nichoola say this is the creme de la creme of women's cycle wear.
Aimed at female cyclists who demand performance but want to look good too.
Fit is on the neat side.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fully waterproof and breathable with choice of two types of lining when ordering, either warm thermal mesh or cooler mesh lining.
Soft non-crispy waterproof fabric.
Generous amounts of reflective detailing.
Shoulder vent and zipped lumbar vent.
Two small zipped pockets.
Zips are a little fiddly to use and wouldn't be easy to access on the fly.
Cut is on the short and neat side, best suited to shorter women. Unsuitable for those with more muscular upper arms and shoulders.
Comfortable in wear. Soft touch waterproof fabric very appealing.
Not the heaviest, but more an everyday jacket than a packable lightweight for occasional use.
Cut didn't suit my 'beefier' upper arms, but other than that a comfortable jacket.
Very reasonable price for a high quality, stylish versatile jacket.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Fabric was comfortable to wear and performed well.
Jacket looks great and manages to combine performance with style.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Looks and fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably- if cut was tweaked.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes- one with slimmer upper arms
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
If the cut suits, it's hard to fault with this stylish waterproof jacket.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.